I know I thought you had changed so much your first year, but my goodness your second year showed me just what the word "change" means. Last year at this time you were almost ready to walk. Now you're running me ragged at every turn. Last year you were still struggling with your poor ears and had a knot on your neck that caused me numerous panic attacks. Now you are happy, healthy, and have been ear infection free thanks to those wonderful tubes. Last year you could babble, say a few words that were clear and knew several animal noises. Now you know your letters, colors, shapes and spend most of your waking hours singing one song or another. (Jesus Loves Me, including sign language, is your favorite right now.)
You may have started out quiet and serious, but that is completely gone now. You have no problem running up to new people and asking for their phone, or waving and saying hello to someone that forgot to smile at you at the store. You no longer cling to me, screaming if I'm out of sight or even act as though I'm leaving. Dropping you off at school no longer requires ear plugs. Instead, you start squealing for Ms. Kim when you see the sign for your school and run to your classroom without even a glance behind you.
|Red Dorothy slippers and mud on your face. Trouble!|
That's not to say you don't absolutely adore Brenden. He's one of your favorite people and you are finally big enough to run and play and keep up with him. If he's jumping off of the stairs onto a pillow you are right there with him. If he decides to roll around in the mud, you're not far behind. You love to cheer him on when he's doing his "tricks" and are always there to make sure he's okay.
Your empathy and willingness to share always surprises me. If one of your toys falls down you scoop them up, hug them close and ask if they're okay. You rock your baby to sleep, "change" her diaper, and give her kisses and hugs before she "takes a nap". If someone is crying or hurt, be it a friend, your brother, or even me, you're always there to comfort them and offer a toy to make them smile. I hope you hold onto that caring and nurturing part of your personality forever.
Lauren, you are one of the smartest, funniest, most inquisitive, bravest, most stubborn little girls I've ever met. The words do not exist to fully explain just how fantastic I think you are, how much I love you, and how very lucky I feel to be your mommy.
Happy Birthday, my sunshine,